17th December 2013

Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell


Walk Overview
Time 9:10 to 11:20am
Duration 2 hr 15 min
Distance 4.1 mile
Ascent 1300 ft
Walking with On my own
A5091 (Park Brow) - High Force - Gowbarrow Fell - Shooting Lodge - Memorial Seat - Aira Force - A5091 (Park Brow)
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Aira Force, Park Brow

Aira Force remains one of the Lake Districts crowd pullers and although the main car park and the tea shop for the waterfalls is found lower down, close to Ullswater itself. This car park is actually the closest to the falls.

Parking is free, but spaces are limited.


Route Map

Today is a bit of a landmark for the website. It was ten years today that the site first went live on the world wide web. I didn't get a cake or a present and I’m not having a party but it did get me thinking about things. Mainly that nothing lasts forever, and for various reasons I've recently been seriously thinking about removing the website and just keeping a personal walking log for my own use. I’ve even done a few walks over the last month or so without taking the camera with me; just to see how I felt about things. Hence no recent Saturday walks .Today I sat on the top of Gowbarrow Fell trying to gather together all the decisions I’d been making and then unmaking and in the end I talked myself into carrying on with the website for at least the foreseeable future.

One thing I never do in life is try to seek out the limelight. People who know me will laugh at me for saying this but they're already aware that I’d want to run a mile to get away from being the centre of attention. So, because of the way I am, I’ve never wanted to go down the 'everybody look at me' road with the website. I've always thought the main thing was to try to show off the Lake District rather than myself and hopefully in the process help people out a little bit by passing on the knowledge I have of the place. Hopefully I've managed to achieve this.

I never check the number of visitors the site gets these days but curiosity got the better of me today and it turns out that the website is currently getting just under 19,500 separate visitors every day; so I guess must be doing something right.
All I can say is thank you all for visiting.

It's been like this for a while but you can't get down to the bottom of the waterfalls from this side of the beck. A landslide (last winter, I think) has left the path in an unsafe condition. Never mind, , , ,

, , , , it's only a stones throw to the bridge at the top of the waterfalls.

Looking up stream from the bridge.

Aira Force seen from the higher of the two bridges.

I spy a new bridge.

It was lovely up in the sunshine today and really nice to be walking in a bit of brightness.


A view across to the southern end of Ullswater. As far as catching the sunshine goes, it looks like I'm in the right place today.

Down there in among the trees you can see the little village (hamlet) of Dockray and further away on the skyline you can see Stybarrow Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head.

Gowbarrow summit in front of Little Mell Fell.

now in front of Great Mell Fell.

and before I left the summit, I took this picture with Blencathra in the background. The higher section of fell behind the left hand side of the trig column is Clough Head.


At the junction of my route and the path coming from Swinburn's Park you pass by the ruins of an old hunting lodge.

A view back along the terrace path around the western side of Gowbarrow.

Eventually, the view opens up towards the Glenridding / Patterdale end of Ullswater.

Looking in the same direction as the previous picture; this time with nowt blocking the view.

Cairn with a view of Ullswater, Hallin Fell, Arthur's Pike, Bonscale Pike and now under cloud, Loadpot Hill.

Just across from the cairn is the Memorial Seat with the inscription "A thank - offering oct 1905".


A close up of Lyulph's Tower.

I'm back at Aira Force now but before I head back to the car, I walk down to take a look at the waterfall.

Almost there, , , ,

, , , and here it is.
There's a lot of water in here today but if the forecasters are right there'll be a heck of a lot more by tea time tomorrow.

Back up the steps to the top bridge and the it's only a few minutes walk to the car park.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks